1855 Treaty Authority Members Issued Citations

A group of individuals from Ojibwe nations in Minnesota known as the “1855 Treaty Authority” staged a wild rice harvesting gathering in Nisswa, Minnesota on Hole-in-the-day Lake on August 27, 2015. The location is outside of current reservation boundaries, but within the territory ceded by the 1855 Treaty with the Chippewa. The group is asserting that because the 1855 Treaty did not specifically remove hunting, fishing, and gathering rights on the ceded territory, those rights still exist for tribal members off-reservation.

The Minnesota DNR issued one-day permits to diffuse tensions, but several members of the Treaty Authority continued to rice and gillnet the following day, and were issued citations for gillnetting without a permit. The final decision to formally charge the members with gross misdemeanors and bring the case to court is still forthcoming from the Crow Wing county attorney.

In 1999, the Supreme Court upheld the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe’s 1837 Treaty right to hunt, fish, and gather on ceded lands after determining that the 1855 Treaty did not extinguish those usufructuary rights. The Mille Lacs case did not decide whether the 1855 Treaty itself preserved off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights for other tribes in Minnesota.

The 1855 Treaty Authority previously attempted to get this issue into federal court in 2010, but the DNR did not issue any citations at that point.

Press release from the 1855 Treaty Authority here.

Letter to Minnesota’s governor here.

Response from Minnesota DNR here.

Previous coverage here.

Upcoming Event, Raising Awareness and Knowledge of Proposed Pipelines that Threaten MN Wild Rice

April 17, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm, Hamline University School of Law will host a law student training event. The students will learn about administrative processes related to proposed oil pipelines, specifically focusing on the ones slated to run through Minnesota.

From the press release:

Honor the Earth, a Native-led environmental organization, has joined with a coalition of related organizations to protect Minnesota’s wild rice stands. The group is participating in the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) and administrative processes regarding two proposed oil pipelines threatening some of the most significant wild rice stands in the state. To advance those efforts, Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth and her team of legal allies will train Minnesota environmental law students on April 17th. Hamline University School of Law will host the event from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm which will also be available statewide via webcast. Environmental law students from all four Minnesota law schools (University of Minnesota, William Mitchell, Hamline, and St. Thomas) will be reviewing the legal and administrative cases. 

Press interviews will also be offered from 10:30 am – 11:25 am in the Moot Court Room.

Further information on the pipelines and efforts to propose alternative routes can be found in the press release:

Press Release Honor the Earth

News coverage here.

Sandpiper map

More on the Manoomin Project – U.P. program for Juvenile Court youth

From Indian Country Today:Manoomin Project teaches at-risk youth respect, culture Posted: November 21, 2007 by: Greg Peterson

  Click to Enlarge  
  Photo courtesy Greg Peterson/second photo courtesy Steve Durocher — The Manoomin Project teaches at-risk teens – sentenced in juvenile court for minor crimes – respect for themselves, Native heritage and nature. The teens study and plant wild rice, and learn how the grain is used in ceremonies. Don Chosa, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, guides the students on the outings. Teens and volunteers, who later planted wild rice, were shown young plants prior to the July 2006 survey. The teens were then asked to identify the wild rice – mixed with other plants – at the seven remote planting sites.  

MARQUETTE, Mich. – American Indians have long known the medicinal and spiritual benefits of manoomin; but along the shores of Lake Superior in northern Michigan, a wild rice restoration project is teaching non-Native teenagers respect for American Indian culture and the environment.”This is about respect for nature,” the Rev. Jon Magnuson said to a rambunctious group of teenagers.

On the first of a three-day outing in July 2006, the teens were embarking on a several-mile hike into the remote Northwoods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to study the previous year’s wild rice crop.

It wasn’t long before those teens topped a hill and surprised two bear cubs that scrambled up a tree about 50 yards away.

”Look – there are two bears,” said a teenage boy motioning to others to run toward the cubs.

Their guide, Don Chosa, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, knew that meant a protective mother wasn’t far away.

”Remember what I said about respect,” Chosa said – and the curious teens stopped in their tracks.

Chosa instructed the youth to give the cubs a wide berth.

The Manoomin Project teaches at-risk teens – sentenced in juvenile court for minor crimes – respect for themselves, Native heritage and nature. The teens study and plant wild rice, and learn how the grain is used in ceremonies.

Since 2004, about 130 teens and dozens of adult volunteers have planted more than a ton of wild rice seed in U.P. waters, where it once thrived but disappeared a century ago due to logging and other human activities.

The project is sponsored by the Cedar Tree Institute, the Superior Watershed Partnership and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

Continue reading

Manoomin Project — Planting Wild Rice in U.P.

From Earthtimes.org:

(Marquette, Michigan) – Teenagers planted wild rice on Saturday in a four-year effort to restore the grain to northern Michigan with help from American Indian guides.

Delayed six weeks due to a severe drought that hampered Midwest wild rice production, at-risk teens on Saturday (November 3, 2007) planted several miles of the Dead River near Marquette beating a snowstorm that arrived Monday afternoon.

The groundbreaking Manoomin Project has teamed hundreds of at-risk teens with American Indian guides who have planted over a ton of wild rice since the summer of 2004 .

Manoomin means wild rice in Ojibwa.

Wild rice disappeared from Michigan over a century ago and is a vital part of Native American ceremonies and traditions.

“You are the first ones to bring wild rice back to the area,” the teens were told by American Indian guide Dave Anthony of Marquette. “I am pleased that you are here and what you are doing today is very important.”

“This is very, very significant, this is a gift from the creator, it’s food grown on the water,” said Anthony, who attends Northern Michigan University (NMU) and belongs to the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa (Ottawa) Indian based in Harbor Springs, MI. “Wild rice is the original North American grain and is very nutritious.”

The importance of the project was not lost on the teens who picked up a few Ojibwa words.

“Megwiich,” said Danny Carello, 13, of Ishpeming saying “thank you” to nature in Ojibwa while carefully tossing wild rice seeds into a small pond along the Dead River.